When All Inclusive Becomes a Lifestyle

As today’s luxury real estate market becomes more competitive, developers are pulling out all of the stops to set properties apart from the crowd.

It is no secret that the luxury apartment game is competitive. And with big competition comes big amenities.

As cities become more and more saturated with people looking to rent, developers are pulling out all of the stops to help bring in tenants. Apartment hunters are seeing everything these days, from amenities for them to amenities for their furry friends. According to Tristen Heimann, director of residential rentals at Luxury Living Chicago Realty, this competitive environment will only continue.

“Pre-Recession construction was more about square footage. Post-Recession construction, on the other hand, has progressed to smaller, yet more efficient layouts that tend to over-compensate with an elaborate amenity space. I also feel that society is progressing more and more towards a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. Living downtown isn't just for the convenience factor of a short commute, but for the overall demand of a more social community that is all encompassing all aspects of urban life,” Heimann said.

One of the most in-demand amenities is a fitness center. As the American trend towards health and fitness continues, it makes it extremely convenient to have this offered on site. It is an additional perk when the equipment is state of the art.

“Hands down, the amenity that’s gaining the most attention is a gym large enough to eliminate the need to pay for an expensive health club several blocks away. I believe people are actually more motivated to work out when it's just a convenient short elevator ride, especially in a city like Chicago where the winters are harsh,” Heimann said.

On that same fitness level, many city residents are trending away from the use of a car to get from place to place, and are instead using bikes. Not only is city living not as conducive to car ownership due to heavy traffic and higher parking fees, but many Americans use biking as a healthy alternative to transportation, and a way to get in a daily workout.

“Years ago, we saw much more of a demand for parking space offerings. Now, not only are buildings offering bike storage, but places for bike maintenance and repairs. It is another great way to attract the city consumer,” Steve Korol of Baker Development Corporation in Chicago said.

According to Heimann, another amenity that has been higher in demand is 24-hour package receiving. Its popularity may catch many by surprise, but Heimann says it has become a necessity to for developers to include.

“In the past, it has been the dry cleaners’ responsibility to handle the packages. But hours were limited until 6pm on weekdays and were even closed on Sundays. With the evolving modern day career person and the advent of two-day shipping, this has become the most popular amenity over the last few years,” he said.

One large perk of living in a city is taking in its beautiful views. And what better place to do it than from a pool? Gone are the days of small, crowded, indoor pools with an obstructed city view and limited lounge chair space. Now more than ever, the market is seeing not only the increase of the size of the pool, but the offerings along with it.

“Pools, cabanas, fire-pits, hot tubs and grills all provide the residents with the ability relax outside in a resort style atmosphere,” Heimann said.

Spaces for hosting friends has become another in demand amenity, with many buildings incorporating large social spaces for entertaining throughout the building that are fully furnished with TVs, fireplaces and demonstration kitchens.

Apartment dwellers are not the only ones who are reaping the benefits of these amenities. Korol points out that pet amenities are becoming much more common at luxury apartment complexes, and include everything from pet fitness to pet pampering.

“Living in the heart of downtown doesn't provide too much greenspace. Having a private dog run and spa helps residents be able to efficiently care for their pets while not being outside on the street during inconvenient hours,” Heimann said.